‘Woman at Point Zero’: Feminist Novel?

As a precursor to my analysis, I should mention that ‘Woman at Point Zero’ by Nawal El Saadawi is about a woman’s story as she adapts towards an oppressive society in Egypt, eventually being put in prison where she tells her story towards an interviewer. Many have stated that ‘Woman at Point Zero’ is considered a feminist novel, but why?

Looking at the ‘Beginning Theory’ extract on feminism and how it can be utilised to critique literature, I’ve applied said knowledge to define ‘Woman at Point Zero’ by Nawal El Saadawi as a feminist novel. One portion of the extract states that “…a female phase (1920 onwards) looked particularly at female writing and female experience” (Barry). This most definitely applies towards the perspective of the book, which is more specifically a first-person perspective of both the interviewer, as well as Firdaus, the main protagonist of the novel. As the readers follow the bildungsroman format, they are subject towards the experience that Firdaus had undergone as she was a child transitioning into adulthood. The female experience is further emphasised by the “female writing” that the secondary first-person perspective achieves. The concept that a woman is rediscovering and sharing another woman’s life story shows an element of sisterhood that allows for women to be supportive of each other and generate a positive message in terms of femininity.

Secondly, another portion of ‘Beginning Theory’ states that feminist critics should analyse text for “[examining] power relations which obtain in texts and in life, with a view to breaking them down, seeing reading as a political act, and showing the extent of patriarchy,” as well as “[raising] the question of whether men and women are ‘essentially’ different because of biology, or are socially constructed as different (Barry). These two points, out of 12, are most important in terms of critiquing ‘Woman at Point Zero’ as Saadawi does use the book to explore such dynamics in contemporary society. In the modern that we live in today, Saadawi exposes such experiences that some women still have to undergo in societies that do support (to an extent) woman’s rights through law, yet still oppresses them through daily interactions. Changing the mentality is quite the challenge, even as Saadawi mentions the equality and hardships that woman face are equal, if not even more, sacrificing than men. In Saadawi’s novel, Firdaus had to subject herself towards degrading work, even if it gave her the false sense of security or power. Despite this, Firdaus was not acknowledged as an honest worker by men, and thus was rejected as a women, highlighting the stubbornness of social constructs by men against women.

Written With Passion

Our group has best magazine because we have the best team and rose to the challenge together. I am extremely proud of our teamwork and collaboration, because in the end, our magazine turned out to be WAY more aesthetic and legit than I thought! Personally, I’m very harsh on myself, but I have to admit, that magazine was kick-butt amazing. Although our group was probably the best group that I could ever ask for, I do have some regrets during this project. One major setback for me, was the deleting the photos I took during the Chinese Ethic Park trip. How stupid was I, when I deleted those photos in the trash can, thinking that we wouldn’t need to use them; fortunately, I had saved enough photos to get myself through the final project. A lesson that I learned is that constant communication is the key to constant success. Through our process of checking in on each other once in a while, we were all able to contribute and share ideas to the final project, and in the end when we put it all together, all the sections fit beautifully. All in all, if you would ask me if I wanted to do another project just like this, I would be a total 10/10.

Meme 2.0

For this post, I decided to create a summary of MILA 2.0 by Debra Driza up until the climax using memes. By mixing classic, Twitter, and recent trending memes, here’s the gist of what happens in the exposition and rising action of the former physical therapist’s book.

Warning: SPOILERS AHEAD

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From Thin Air

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The non-fiction book that I’m reading is The Boy Who Fell Out of the Sky by Ken Dornstein. The plot of the book is protagonist Ken Dornstein unearthing his brother’s past. Ken’s brother, David, died in the crash of Pan Am Flight 103, right in the small town in Lockerbie on December 21, 1988. The cause? A terrorist bombing that was planned about 10 years before. That day, 270 innocent people died, and some of them weren’t even on the plane. Fortunately, people were held responsible and were judged in court on May 2000. Ken Dornstein wrote this book to commemorate his brother and reflect on his life before and after the life-changing incident.

I created a little poster-art to show the central idea of the book. Using 4 quotes, I supported the idea as well as providing explanations for the quotes. (See image attached above)

Clipper Maid of the Seas photo: “Pan Am Flight 103.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 7 Dec. 2016. Web. 08 Dec. 2016.

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Lost and Found Secrets

ad-1ad-2  ad-3For my blog post, I decided to create 3 print ads that represent motifs that support the theme of Lost Luggage by Jordi Punti and as clearly stated in all 3 ads, the theme is “everyone has a reason to keep their own secrets”. The ads are meant to convince people to read the book, and I tried to do that by partially revealing some secrets that would lure in readers who are curious or want to learn more.

***SPOILERS***

Ad #1 details a mother no longer being able to bear the pain of a lost child. Instead of moving on, she masked with the sadness by adopting another child, 9-year-old Gabriel, and naming him after her dead son Cristóbal. Soon after adoption, newly named Cristóbal discovered about his predecessor and unwittingly confronts his “mother” with her secret.

Ad #2 is about how 18-year-old Conrad, who suffered from early age baldness, hid his wig from his father who is a barber. Being a barber, Martí should’ve had a natural strong dislike towards wigs and toupees and that was exactly what caused his son Conrad to hide his top-secret toupee.

Finally, Ad #3 represents Gabriel, 30 years after abandoning them after birth, meeting his four sons after they rescued him from gamblers. He reveals to them that he was afraid to talk or even meet them as he was sure that the Christophers had a passionate hatred towards him. So, he hid… just a couple of meters away in the room right next to the Christopher’s headquarters for tracking down their father.

When these print ads’ subtexts (motifs) are put together, it should stick the theme into your head. If not, then read the book. If the motifs of the theme sound interesting, read the book. If you’re not sure on whether to read the book, read it.

Photo credit: tomorca <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/94059371@N04/30116456831″>Symbol tree</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=“https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

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Exposing Expósito and Extras

29961919166_d0709a36cb_bIn the book Lost Luggage by Jordi Punti, protagonist (or maybe even antagonist?), Gabriel Delacruz Expósito, a seemingly average man, was born on a dim October morning in the Spanish cod market of 1941. However, he isn’t so average if you take a closer look into his life throughout events and flashbacks in the book.

For 17 years, Gabriel grew and flourished in The House of Charity orphanage; having said that, it is later revealed that he had a secret resentment towards the place. One fateful day, he and his best friend Bundo were called to the office of Sister Elvira, where both boys were told that they must leave the orphanage before the end of the month. “Their faces began to light up but they quickly masked it. So leaving, getting away, getting the h*** away from the home – at last, at last!” (75, 76 Punti). The narrative describes the joy and relief they felt. However, the feeling is elaborated further by including a strong word, h***, which shows the fear or hatred of their home and the desperation to leave. What could’ve possibly led Gabriel to loathe his home? This sudden display of feelings show that Gabriel can hide his feelings quite well. As well as hiding his feelings, Gabriel hides a much bigger part of his life. Like Bundo, Gabriel is a ladies’ man who is always on the move; consequently, this led to him fathering to 4 known sons. This buried truth of Gabriel’s was uncovered when 25 years later, his own son Cristòfol discovered “another folder… [which] held a pile of documents… names, addresses, birth certificates, photos, drawings. It wasn’t long before the other three names appeared… Cristof, Christophe, Christopher” (35, 36). Cristófol, already suspicious of his father, discovered that he has 3 step-brothers. To find out that after your father left, he did the same to 3 other families must be harsh. Gabriel, a simple Spanish driver, lived a quadruple life. But that’s not all… a fifth brother exists! A few weeks into the search for their father, Christof finds another brother named “’Christoffini. He was born in Italy…’” (136). After discovering another step-brother, who knows how many heartbroken children and families Gabriel left? Keeping all of his descendants from knowing each other shows that Gabriel is a crafty man and he cannot be trusted.

To put it very bluntly, I am in no way similar to Gabriel Delacruz. The way he selfishly and cold-heartedly left his families completely contrasts my friendly nature. For instance, ever since I joined my friend group, Grounders Squad, I have never turned my back on them. I’ve gone out of my way to go to concerts, last minute birthdays, and weekend hangouts with the squad at school, and more. Even with all my faults, I consider myself as a WAY better person than Gabriel.

Events and stories unfold one after another. Mysteries are found and solved. All of these things connect and disconnect, constantly shaping the character we know as Gabriel Delacruz Expósito. We might think of him as the cruel antagonist, but people can change… you never know.

Photo credit: simbiosc <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/46950055@N02/29961919166″>Thebackpack</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Easy Reads: Bean’s Buddy Blowout


I chose to rewrite “Shadow of the Hegemon” by Orson Scott Card as a rhyming 4-7 year-old children’s book. The theme, hold on to the people you love and care, or else you may find it to be too late, was expressed in the book by [spoilers!] the death of Bean’s friends. I tried to keep the main plot, which was Bean in hiding, trying to rescue his friends especially Petra from the clutches of Achilles the antagonist in the adaptation and also tried to make the theme obvious by also stating it in the end, which nicely flows in the children’s version.

 

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Chinese Chess Child

Imagine if the next chess Grandmaster was a 9-year-old girl… unbelievable. Yet in the story “Rules of the Game” by Amy Tan, protagonist Waverly is not just a young chess child prodigy, as she is also humble and zealous in her character; however, between these two characteristics, I feel like I share only a zealous characteristic with Waverly.12789618913_c056d2298f_b

If you look carefully into the text, Waverly constantly shows humble and zealous characteristics throughout the story. When she was walking with her mother in the market, her mother would say, “’This is my daughter Wave-ly Jong’… to whoever looked her way” (Tan 9) that Waverly was her daughter, which to Waverly’s replied, “’I wish you wouldn’t do that’” (9). Waverly’s humility or humbleness is shown by telling her mother, who is bragging to people that Waverly’s a chess champion, that she doesn’t want people to know that she is the national chess champion. Back track to the rising action, when Waverly started to learn the rules of chess, when “[Waverly] read the rules and looked up all the big words in a dictionary. [Waverly] borrowed books from the Chinatown library. [Waverly] studied each chess piece, trying to absorb the power each contained” (5). In the text, Waverly’s dedication to learning chess makes her spend hours just examining and learning. If she doesn’t understand a word in the rulebook, she would then take the time to go through a dictionary, further highlighting how she takes learning chess seriously. When Waverly’s chess skills win her to championships, she still “[went] directly home to learn new chess secrets, cleverly concealed advantages, more escape routes” (8), showing that she humbly knew that she had more to learn, and that she was determined to learn more every day.

Although Waverly is a 9-year-old chess champion living in America, I feel like I am similar to Waverly because I think of myself as a somewhat zealous person. In the story, Waverly takes interest in chess and soon she starts to look more into it. She heads to the library, reads the rule book over and over again, and not to mention staring at the wall for hours imagining imaginary chess battles. This reminds me of me because when I REALLY take interest in something, or I REALLY need to finish something, I would cut chunks of time and effort for just that something. Take for example a 6th grade history project on a civilization: homework, swimming, hobbies would move down a notch on the to-do list as I would spend hours just mindlessly “improving” my project.

In sum it all up, 9-year-old chess champion Waverly Jong has a lot of characteristics to her character; the most prominent of them being humble and zealous, which are uncommon to a young charismatic girl like her. Do you have a character you relate to?

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/33124677@N00/12789618913″>Chess</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

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Post ???: Newsela PEEL Paragraph

Newsela | 13-year-old Alaskan crafting his own business future.

My PEEL Paragraph

I think that the fire starter bracelets as an excellent idea, but can also introduce more danger and violence to the world.

A famous example was the 9/11 incident. Security reports say that one gun was smuggled in, but other terrorists carried knifes disguised as cigarette lighters. With this bracelet, weapons such as the knife or fire starter, can act as weapons and even more so on airplanes.

“But Grayson’s products, which he currently makes himself at his home, hide some unique and potentially lifesaving items.”

Airport security measures have increased dramatically over the past years, but this idea can over leap that. People wear can wear the bracelet next to their watch, and security will never know it. People have clever ways to hide things, but this “lifesaving” invention could be life-threatening.

Overall, I think the initial idea and product was a great idea, but think outside the box of just using it for survival. I do think that idea of using this invention could take down an 777 is a little hard to believe, but then again, the events of 9/11 were hard to believe.